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Finding Father Christmas / Engaging Father Christmas, 2 in 1, by Robin Jones Gunn
Two heartwarming Yuletide tales in one volume! In Finding Father Christmas, Miranda's search for her dad leads her to England where a family welcomes her. Should she reveal her true identity and destroy their idyllic image of her parent? And in Engaging Father Christmas, Miranda plans to accept Ian's proposal---but the Whitcomb matriarch withholds her blessing.
Number of Pages: 327
Publication Date: 2016
|Dimensions: 8 X 5.25 (inches)|
In ENGAGING FATHER CHRISTMAS Miranda Carson can't wait to return to England for Christmas and to be with her boyfriend, Ian. She has spent a lifetime yearning for a place to call home, and she's sure Carlton Heath will be it, especially when a hinted-at engagement ring slips into the conversation. But Miranda's high hopes for a jolly Christmas with the small circle of people she has come to love are toppled when Ian's father is hospitalized and the matriarch of the Whitcombe family withholds her blessing from Miranda. Questions run rampant in Miranda's mind about whether she really belongs in this cheery corner of the world. Then, when her true identity threatens all her relationships in unanticipated ways, Miranda is certain all is lost. And yet . . . maybe Father Christmas has special gifts in store for her after all.
"With deep warmth and charming poignancy, Robin Jones Gunn brings us a tale as timeless as Christmas."Karen Kingsbury, New York Times bestselling author of This Side of Heaven
"With magical prose and a touching story, Robin has woven a heartwarming Christmas tale. Cozy up with a cup of tea and enjoy!"Melody Carlson, author of Your Heart's Desire on Finding Father Christmas
"Robin Jones Gunn has an incredible way with storytelling. She never fails to hold my interest and always leaves me feeling blessed."Tracie Peterson, bestselling author of The Ladies of Liberty series
Fitzysmom5 Stars Out Of 5Review from Rambles of a SAHMDecember 16, 2016FitzysmomQuality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 5I originally read Finding Father Christmas and Engaging Father Christmas in 2007 and 2008 when the books first came out. I fell in love with the beautiful story of a lonely young woman searching for her father. The stories were engaging and endearing but beyond that they were filled with the true meaning of Christmas.
This year the Hallmark Movies & Mysteries Channel put out a film version of Finding Father Christmas. It was a combining of the two novels. There was nothing wrong with the movie, in fact it was a fun Christmas themed movie full of romance. Unfortunately it just didn't give me the same feeling that I had when I had first read the books. So I decided to re-read them.
Oh my friends, you must treat yourself to reading these stories. Finding Father Christmas is so moving it brought me to tears at times. The story has the framework of Dicken's A Christmas Carol. Miranda is on a quest to find out who her father is. Not only does she find her father, she also finds the Father.
Engaging Father Christmas continues the story of Miranda and her newly found family. It takes place a year later and even though there is a lot of happiness, due to Miranda's relationship with Ian, there is also a lot of tension because of who Miranda is. I loved this novel just as much as the first. In this story we see the power of redemption and the healing that it can bring.
I'm excited because there is a third book in the series, Kissing Father Christmas. I am just getting started on it so stay tuned for my reaction. If the first few chapters are a hint . . . it's going to be good!
I received a copy of this book to facilitate my review.
The Avid ReaderDunedin, FLAge: 45-54Gender: Female4 Stars Out Of 5Charming novellas!November 26, 2016The Avid ReaderDunedin, FLAge: 45-54Gender: FemaleQuality: 4Value: 4Meets Expectations: 4Finding Father Christmas and Engaging Father Christmas are two Christmas novellas by Robin Jones Gunn. In Finding Father Christmas Miranda Carson is on a journey for answers. Miranda grew up traveling with her actress mother, Eve Carson. Mirandas mother passed away without ever telling her the identity to her father. Mirandas best clue is a photograph of a boy with Father Christmas taken at Carlton Photography Studio on Bexley Lane in Carlton Heath. Miranda heads to England and hopes that she will find the identity of her father. Miranda is warmly embraced by the townspeople. With a little help, Miranda soon finds the identity of her father. But will Miranda be able to tell them?
In Engaging Father Christmas, Miranda is heading back to Carlton Heath for Christmas. Miranda is looking forward to spending time with Ian (Miranda met him at the end of Finding Father Christmas) and the Whitcombe family. Miranda enjoyed her time with them the previous year. It was wonderful having a real family Christmas. Returning to Carlton Heath feels like coming home. If things turn out right with Ian, it could be home. But the road to happiness is full of bumps, curves, and icy patches. Will Miranda get her happily ever after?
Finding Father Christmas and Engaging Father Christmas are lovely, heartwarming stories. The books are about acceptance, embracing love, forgiveness, and finding/accepting God in your life. Both stories are nicely written, easy to read, have a good pace, a beautiful setting (I want to live in Carlton Heath), and likeable (as well as relatable) characters. These two novellas will put you in the Christmas spirit. I give Finding Father Christmas and Engaging Father Christmas 4 out of 5 stars. The only negative comment I have is that they are a little predictable. These Christmas stories are a nice change of pace and romance lovers will enjoy these charming novellas. These two books can be purchased separately or in this combined omnibus edition. The next book in the series is Kissing Father Christmas.
bookwomanjoanOak Harbor, WAAge: 55-65Gender: female4 Stars Out Of 5Heartwarming previously published novellasNovember 12, 2016bookwomanjoanOak Harbor, WAAge: 55-65Gender: femaleQuality: 4Value: 4Meets Expectations: 4This combination of two previously published Christmas novellas by Gunn is a great way to get into the Christmas spirit.
We are introduced to Miranda in Finding Father Christmas. An American, she's taken a Christmas vacation from her work and flown to a village in England. She's trying to find information about her father, someone her mother never talked about. The only clue she has is a photograph of a boy crying while in the lap of an oddly dressed Santa. She had found the photograph among her mother's things after her death. The address of the photograph studio on the back of the photo had led her to this quaint location. What she is about to find out would change her life forever.
In the sequel, Engaging Father Christmas, Miranda has returned to England for Christmas a year later. She's met by Ian, a close friend of her newly discovered family. Miranda's dream of an idyllic Christmas with the man she deeply loves is marred by the hospitalization of Ian's father. There is also the tension radiating from some in her new family. Will grace and peace from Christ heal the fractures in Miranda's life?
I thoroughly enjoyed these stories. Gunn knows how to tug at our heart strings. The characters she develops in the stories pull at our emotions. Since these are short stories, the only well developed character is Miranda. She has scars from being raised by a single parent, an actress, who died when Miranda was still young. Her longing to find the other half of her family is well portrayed. On the English side, we have some typically reserved characters as well as some surprisingly welcoming ones. I really liked Miranda's newly discovered niece and nephew. Those youngsters had good insight into expressing the love of Christ.
I liked the setting of a small English village at Christmas. I enjoyed the tradition of villagers presenting an adaptation of The Christmas Carol. I liked how the villagers coped with their main character in hospital.
I recommend this combination of two stories to those who would enjoy a heartwarming Christmas in England with the true spirit of the season revealed. There are very good Reading Group Guides at the end of each novella. This would be a good choice for a reading group to read during the Christmas season.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher. My comments are an independent and honest review.
Sarah OCaliforniaAge: 25-34Gender: female5 Stars Out Of 5Family is what you make of it!!!October 27, 2016Sarah OCaliforniaAge: 25-34Gender: femaleQuality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 5With no family to speak of and only on a whim Miranda took off to hopefully find the father he mom always kept a secret. When Miranda hits a dead end and shoes the picture to the shop keeper things seem to take a life of its own. Will Miranda be able to uncover the secret father she has longed for?
I really loved this short story, I honestly wasn't sure what to expect, I have read other books by Robin but this seemed to have a different feel to it. I want to say that it was like a twist on the Christmas classic Charles Dickens' Scrooge, but that doesn't seem right. The storyline is well put together and while I am usually not a fan of the first person story this fits this perfectly and I could not have imagined reading it any other way.
Miranda is back in England for her third visit and she hope this time will go just as good if not better as the last two. There still seems to be a disconnect that she would like to heal with her brother. Secrets have a way of coming out and this one she would like to keep close to her heart so not to hurt and one else. When Ian drops the biggest surprise of all there seems to be another waiting around the corner. Will Miranda go home with out those she holds dear to her or will she be able to find a ally and stay close to those she just found?
I really enjoyed both these books. They seem to sum what Christmas is all about. Family is not always who is blood but those we choose and those we hold dear too. This book seemed to really hit its mark and there is always a certain amount of forgiveness that needs to be given when secrets that have long been buried make its way to the surface. I would highly recommend this set of books, this series would be perfect all year round and be the perfect, fun read.
Karen RWAGender: Female5 Stars Out Of 5A tender, meaningful, and romantic story set at Christmas!October 5, 2016Karen RWAGender: FemaleQuality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 5"Come in! Come in and know me better!" A fitting description for the first novella in this compilation, when Miranda finds herself in a small English village, looking for the identity of her father based on an old photo and a playbill of her mother's. She ultimately finds her heavenly Father is the one she really needs, and He has arranged for her a series of events to lead her to the truth.
The second book, Engaging Father Christmas, starts a year later with Miranda returning to the same English village near Christmas to reunite with her new love. The truth of who her father was has leaked out somehow, and upset the peace of her family reunion. She longs to find "grace and peace to all who enter", as it says over the doors of her friend's home.
I really enjoyed both of these books! They are everything I like in a Christmas story--touching, meaningful, with a faith element, and a sweet romance in the second one. Both are set in England too, in a small village that puts on A Christmas Carol each year, so the references to the play in each one take on a special meaning for Miranda. The need for forgiveness, family support and acceptance is key to finding hope and peace in her life. Knowing that God accepts her and sees her as His own is a highlight in the stories.
Recommend these to anyone looking for a tender, meaningful story set at Christmas. 4.5 stars
(An e-copy of this book was provided by NetGalley and the publisher in exchange for my honest, original review.)